History Making TV Journalist Belva Davis Shares Passion, Advice

This weekend, San Francisco's inimitable Belva Davis receives the Hogan Distinguished Service Award from the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) in Los Angeles. In this Fresh Dialogues interview, the first black female news anchor on the West Coast explains her need to prove herself every day.

"Go home if you don't feel some sense of gratitude for the next day's possibilities," she says. "The next day's possibilities are what keeps you going forward."

Davis, who hosted KQED's This Week in Northern California for almost 20 years, explains why she admires PBS Newshour's anchors Judy Woodruff and Gwen Ifill; and why journalists need both curiosity and passion to create a successful career.

Here is some of our conversation:

ALISON VAN DIGGELEN: Hello and welcome to Fresh Dialogues. Today I'm with pioneering journalist, Belva Davis. She has a new book and it's called Never In My Wildest Dreams. Belva, thank you for joining me today.

BELVA DAVIS: Well thank you. This is a wonderful opportunity.

ALISON VAN DIGGELEN: If you were to go back to being 30 or 40 years old, what advice would you give yourself?

BELVA DAVIS: I always tell people, if you are not doing...Number one: if you don't have curiosity about what you've chosen to do with your life, and if you don't have passion for what you say you want to do with your life, you should keep looking.

ALISON VAN DIGGELEN: Right, so passion and curiosity. They're both really important.

BELVA DAVIS: Right, because one keeps you going, and wanting to know more about what you're doing. By wanting to know more, then you get better. You don't just sit there from wherever point you entered whatever arena you're in. And you have to have passion to give the extra time. You can't just do something that at 5 o'clock you turn off a key. That just doesn't work.

ALISON VAN DIGGELEN: And what about today? For young aspiring journalists, who are the good female role models today? Who would you point to and say: she's got it right. She's nailing it. Is there anyone you tune into?

BELVA DAVIS: (Laughter) I love everybody...

ALISON VAN DIGGELEN: You don't want to pick favorites?


Read the whole transcript at Fresh Dialogues

And check out other Fresh Dialogues interviews with newsmakers:

Charlie Rose on his "great and glorious life."

Tom Friedman on his China envy.

Maureen Dowd and her green inspiration.

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